How to Optimize Your Control System - Reduce Variability and Discover Problems with Instrumentation and Valves

13th Topical on Refinery Processing
2010 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 22, 2010 - 8:00pm

Process manufacturers lose millions of dollars each year due to process variability and poor control performance, often unaware they even have a problem. Control engineers and instrument technicians are typically overworked and ill-equipped to monitor and maintain the hundreds of control loops and instruments for which they are responsible. And contributing to the problem, traditional control systems don't provide a systematic way to monitor, diagnose and improve process control performance. Using proven tools to identify poor performing control loops and discovering underperforming valves and transmitter can help achieve better performance that will show up on the bottom line. There are many tuning packages on the market today that will help optimally tune loops. The only problem with a tuning application is that you need to pick the loops which you want to tune, which again means that you need to spend time evaluating the performance of the various loops, which takes time. My experience is that time is not an abundant commodity these days. This paper will present how to monitor all the loops running in the plant and get predictive alerts when there is problems with oscillation, valve operation, limited control, variability, PID loop tuning, etc. By having a software that constantly monitors all loops and develop models for each process loop, we can compare tuning parameters and recommend better and improved tuning parameters. Now you can have optimal tuning without spending much time evaluating the performance of each loops. I will also present some success stories where this has been implemented successfully.

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